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Let it Rain: A benefit for the Australian wildfires

 Australia is currently facing its most devastating fires to date. At least 27 people have died, more than 2,000 structures have burned, and 18 million acres of land have been torched by the wildfires sweeping across the continent. In addition to this, almost a billion animals have died. Various organizations are working 24/7 to provide relief efforts to communities that affected - they need our help!

 

Join us this Saturday Jan 25th (Australia Day) at Cloud Tree Studios as we raise money for the Australian Red Cross. Enjoy local art collections, a host of musical showcases and some delicious beverages from the The Roadie ATX. Bar & Gallery will open at 2pm with live music from 3pm. Come and celebrate Australia Day with your mates at Cloud Tree Studios, it'll be great!

 

Featured musicians include Jake Lloyd, Corbella, Poly Action, Munn & more.

Iconic Austin Collection by local artist @tarahluke & friends.

 

Any and all are welcome, suggested entry is $10. Food and drinks available for donation.

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/161758565130361/

 

Special thanks to our sponsors: Hops & Grain Brewing, Greater Goods Coffee, Austin Eastciders, Dulce Vida, Tito's Vodka & Kwik Ice.

 
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The Suffers and Big Freedia Take Over Austin

 Houston based, R&B and soul group, The Suffers, were the second opener for New Orleans native, Big Freedia, at Emo's Saturday night. Their self proclaimed, "Gulf Coast Soul" celebrates the melange of different cultures blending together in one of the most diverse cities in the United States. 

 

Their blend of African American soul, Cajun, Caribbean, and Mexican music, lead by the powerhouse vocals of front woman Kam Franklin, gave spiritual energy to an eager audience and turned Emo's into a house of musical worship. 

 

Franklin emulated some serious Diana Ross vibes, with her signature natural hair and a matching silver sequin outfit. When the horn section wasn't blasting their instruments, they were backing up their leading lady in true doo-wop fashion, dancing and clapping in synchronized rhythm.  

 

Not only did Franklin give a religious like performance to a congregation ready to receive the spirit, playing songs like "Make Some Room" and "Do Whatever", but she also delivered a powerful sermon, imploring the audience to continue to support live music and the artists who give us so much. She also gave recognition to local Austin artists like The Vapor Caves, Jackie Venson, and Gary Clark Jr. 

 

Her message is a strong reminder of the struggle most local musicians face, especially in a growth explosion city like Austin. As patrons of the arts, she reminded us that it is our responsibility to support and show up for artists whose music we consume. 


- Amy Arnold

 

“Excuse! I don’t mean to be rude, just give me that mic and let me do what I do”

The queen diva had arrived in Austin on Saturday to bring her New Orleans-based, twerk-filled, bounce music to the Central Texas masses. Igniting the dance party with hits like “Louder” and “Ya’ll Get Back Now”, Big Freedia and her troupe of high-energy backup dancers assaulted every part of the audience’s sensory in the best way possible.

 

A room full of booty-shakers swooned as their iconic orchestrator led them through a series of earth-shattering and dance-inducing hits. Bangers like “Y’tootsay” and “Mo Azz”  whipped the crowd into a frenzy while the gravity-defying theatrics of Big Freedia’s stage dancers kept a manic energy at full tilt. A twerk contest for concert-goers culminated in a stage full of local aspiring glute masters showcasing their goods while Big Freedia oversaw their efforts like a drill sergeant on new recruits.

 

While nearly half of Freedia’s set list comprised of cover songs, it was her original track’s that brought out the diva’s rhapsodic spirit and vim.  Ending with tracks like “Rent”, “I Heard” and “Gin In My System” - the audience hit a critical mass of dance exuberance. Even after Big Freedia left the stage, the party continued on into the night with members of the crowd and back up dancers trading dance moves while they basked in the afterglow of raucous yet perfect night of dancing.

 

-Lee Ackerley

 

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Joanna Newsom Impresses at Bates Recital Hall

 

With her most recent album, Divers (2015), almost five years old at this point, it was unclear what exactly Joanna Newsom would be performing the first night of her 2020 Austin concerts. Her last Austin performance in 2016 was at the Moody Theater in full promotion of that record. With a full backing band and almost half the set coming from Divers, this show was much different: a solo tour, hilariously titled The Strings/Keys Incident. Tucked into UT’s Bates Recital Hall, the audience took their seats in the intimate space. A three story organ loomed over the stage with nothing but a harp, a piano, and a multi-colored tapestry to set the scene. This venue is usually meant for student performers, but a few seconds into her first song it was clear a true master of her craft had taken the stage. 


Opening with “Bridges and Balloons” off of her 2004 debut The Milk-Eyed Mender, her labyrinthine string plucking seemed to transport the audience away to a safer, simpler place. We were teary-eyed before the song was even finished. She continued to parade through her albums flowing to “Emily” off Ys, then moving to the piano for “The Things I Say” from Divers and Have One On Me’s “In California.” Just as the first four songs had seamlessly drifted through her entire discography, the whole set was consistently balanced between all of her releases. Even without any percussion, her syncopated playing felt oftentimes quite groovy allowing some listeners to bob their heads to the beat, while others a-rhythmically swayed in a trance. Although each song in the almost two hour performance was truly moving, a personal highlight was “Monkey & Bear.” 


One would think someone with such ethereal music would be intangibly eccentric, like Björk or Prince, but she seemed so pleasant and normal. Walking onto stage drinking tea, waving to a friend in the crowd, and genuinely funny and polite crowd banter grounded her performance in a way that transcended labels such as “freak folk” or “baroque pop.” Even though it’s so early in the year, I can not imagine a more touching or memorable musical experience topping this one.  

 

- Hayden Steckel

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Weaver is the Answer to Your Psychedelia Dreams

 Weaver opened for a toasty crowd at Spider House Ballroom on Saturday night. Formerly a two piece from Israel, the band recently added a bass player from the Bronx: Liraz on guitar, Eliav on drums, and Febian on bass. They may be injecting new blood to the Austin music scene, but their style of psychedelic rock feels right at home here. 

Red lights reflecting off the red velvet curtains behind them, the whole room glows red with their passionate energy on stage. The hypnotic rhythm of the drums and deep throb of the bass replaces the cadence of your heart beat, while the shredding guitar spirals you into your inner mind. The loops and dips of one song felt like a Tom and Jerry chase scene, running your mind in circles. There’s no lyrics or song titles, only raw sound and chemistry. There’s not even a set list. Listen, close your eyes, and forget what decade you’re in. A couple of songs from their newest EP are available on Bandcamp, Amaranth and Alice

Sans lyrics and sans titles, the last songs of the set were improvised raw garage rock magic. The instrumental 3 piece tip toes along grunge and punk, but stays true to psychedelia. The bassist and guitarist angle themselves toward the drums allowing the sounds to reverberate and dance off each other. A delicious, fuzzy synergism fills souls and overwhelms the room. There is an attractive mysteriousness surrounding this band that makes you want to hear more.  

Weaver is playing Free Week - catch them at The Sahara Lounge on January 2nd. Check out their instagram for other future shows; their bio aptly promises a “fuzz-laced hit for your inner mind.”  

Mel Green

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Tasi Floats Chill Vibes Over Lo-Fi Beats

 Tåsi's music is described as “coral reef meets poetry,” and as abstract as that sounds it’s also the perfect descriptor for Marlon Hedricks’ romantic, lo-fi rap. Tåsi urges himself and his audience to reflect, a theme that plays out both lyrically and sonically. His production is smooth but not entirely unfractured, with beats and drops that create a mirroring effect within each song. It’s a very chill, relaxing house of mirrors.

 Tåsi does a lot of collaborations, blending his sound well with the sound of his fellow musicians. His most recent release was East 10th St, a 5 song LP he produced with Lungfulls, Falling Awake Sound Therapy and Malekinho. Tåsi & BLakchyl wrote and recorded the entire album at 1609 East 10th, a street that has significant meaning for both artists. As they say in the description, ”this is our love letter:” The LP starts out strong and ends even stronger.  The speech sampling done on “DDD” is thoughtful and powerful, but it doesn’t distract the audience from the song at all. It’s a great example of Tåsi’s strengths as both a solo artist and a collaborator.

-Avril Carrillo

 

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